Shona Laing signed to the Phonogram label at age 16, after a successful audition for talent show New Faces. Her composition '1905' got to number four on the Kiwi charts; it went gold, as did 1973 debut album Whispering Afraid. During seven years based in London, Laing recorded two solo albums, and joined Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Returning home in 1983, she explored a synthesiser-based sound on records Genre and South. Single '(Glad I'm) Not A Kennedy' hit number two, sold globally, and got her an American deal — which quickly soured, after staff changes at Atlantic Records. Later releases have further explored different sounds.